Jelly entered the great room to find Murdoch at his desk working on the ledger. When Jelly cleared his throat Murdoch looked up and smiled at the older man.
“Hey Jelly what do you need?” Murdoch set the pen down and motioned Jelly to the chair across from the desk.
“I need ta talk at ya boss. Couldn’t help hearin’ the fight you and Johnny had goin’ on after supper.” Jelly sat down but ignored Murdoch’s scowl and continued. “That boy’s tryin’ hard ta please ya and all he gets is yelled at. Why can’t you see he’s tryin’ to fit in?”
“Jelly, I know he’s trying but he needs to learn to take orders. I wish he was more like Scott.” Murdoch said and shook his head.
“He ain’t Scott and he ain’t never gonna be Scott, why would ya want that?” Jelly was disappointed by Murdoch’s attitude.
“You know what I mean, I just wish he would listen to me instead of always going against what I want done. They were both told from the start that I would call the tune but Johnny doesn’t listen. He always argues.” It had been a long day and Murdoch didn’t want to get into this with Jelly.
Jelly shook his head, “Johnny knows that, he just wants you to listen to him like you listen to Scott. Why do you treat them different? Johnny ain’t stupid and if you would stop yellin and listen you’d know some of his ideas is good.”
Murdoch glared at Jelly.
“Another thing boss, why don’t ya trust that boy? It’s as plain as the nose on your face and we all notice especially Johnny and Scott.”
“I trust him.” Murdoch attempted to defend himself.
“No ya don’t, stop lyin’ to yourself. Ya gonna lose both those boys, or maybe ya just want to lose one of ‘em.” Jelly watched Murdoch and wondered if his boss wanted Johnny to leave. He knew Murdoch was still having trouble accepting that his younger son was Johnny Madrid.
Murdoch got up and stomped to the drink cart and poured a drink. “I don’t want to lose my sons again, either one of them.” It was obvious by his tone that he was angry at the older man’s intrusion.
“Well then you bes’ change the way you treat Johnny. Give the boy the same chances you give Scott. Stop holdin’ Madrid against him, if’n it weren’t for Johnny Madrid there weren’t be a Johnny Lancer.” Jelly matched his tone to Murdoch’s.
Realizing it was going to turn into an argument, Jelly shook his head then got up and left his boss to think about their talk. He loved Johnny and didn’t want to boy to leave Lancer and go back to gunfighting. If that happened he wouldn’t be stay. He was afraid Scott wouldn’t be staying either.
Jelly was tired and all he wanted was his bed. As he walked back to his room he looked up and wished upon a star.
He hoped Murdoch had listened.